The creations of Thomas Eggensberger give evidence to the concept that the arts are often borderless. While he is most commonly referred to as a composer or orchestrator in his profession, it’s obvious that he is as much a storyteller as the film and television collaborators he so often works with. His work with acclaimed composers like Oscar and BAFTA nominated Jóhann Jóhannsson (on the 2018 Nicolas Cage starring film Mandy) as well as others confirms that Eggensberger has the respect of the industry’s elite. Whether through his original composition “Their Future Passage” which celebrates film scoring or his futuristic original full length release Aphelion which was ubiquitous in Germany, Thomas has continually taken listeners on cinematic journeys with his music. The compositions of Mr. Eggensberger synthesize what reality hints at with what it might actually become.
Recent successes by NASA’s Perseverance Rover and a long held affinity for space exploration inspired Eggensberger to compose Aphelion. The album title is defined as the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is furthest from the sun. By considering the vast differences which comprise “space” as we know it, Thomas perceived the variety of emotionally expressive opportunities to create upon. The composer divulges, “I really wanted to write different tracks that would imagine and reenact different aspects of space and explore it with a modern touch of modern music. I intentionally wrote tracks in different moods and tones as well, from dark, aggressive and devastating, to light, atmospheric and hopeful. Listening to the album as a whole is meant to bring people on a journey, letting them ‘travel’ through space with the music where they will witness ‘Distant Meteorites’ and a ‘New Moon’ but also the darker aspects of space such as ‘Endless Void’ and ‘Forgotten Universe’. It is important to me that it takes people on a journey and they can connect with it, and discover something within it that reflects with their life.”
With Aphelion’s instrumental identity, Mr. Eggensberger shrewdly places the listener in an explorative environment which is not void of familiarity. UK based musicians Isobelle Austin and Alex Goodyear provide the organic sounds which Thomas has then manipulated heavily with electronics. This sonic identity immerses the listener into a world which sets a baseline to suggest, “What unusual surroundings might exist in the vastness of space?” Mick Roby (frequent collaborator with leading Hollywood score mixer Jason LaRocca-known for the nearly 1.2 WW Grossing Aquaman as well as others) was enthusiastic to jump aboard Aphelion as mixing engineer from his Los Angeles studio. Roby’s ‘musical sound design’ approach to the mixes furthered the transportive nature of the album. Aphelion became an instant reference point for many Europeans as it was a featured album on more than 5,000 advertisement screens around Germany this summer.
While certainly proud of the acclaim in his homeland, Thomas confirms that the presentation of his compositions in America is equally meaningful. His original work “Their Future Passage” was performed and recorded at the Newman Stage at 20th Century Fox last summer. The piece was written to celebrate composers ranging from Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrman to classical composers like Wagner and Strauss. “Their Future Passage” is a grand work which boasts the larger than life grandeur these composers and Hollywood itself is recognized for. Eggensberger stipulates, “I really wanted to write a large scale piece that has big, epic, and grand moments that make you want to experience and be surrounded by Hollywood and the incredible media projects that get created there. It was an incredible opportunity to record an orchestra at the Newman Stage with LA’s finest studio musicians. Having my music recorded at such an iconic scoring stage with such musicians and with the best music engineers in the game, was a truly magical experience. Hollywood’s musicians really play each and every note perfectly, sight-reading it from their musical parts on the day they show up to the recording session. The first take was already mind-blowing but these musicians are also phenomenal at detecting and fixing mistakes early to ensure the recording process is as smooth as possible.” These comments from Thomas contain the same sense of enthusiasm and awe as does the music of Aphelion; it’s through this we can perceive that his artistic sense of wonderment is transmitted through the music he offers up to the public.
Writer: Coleman Haan